Energy Food and Drink
The best energy food and drink, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on October 1, 2018. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
You're going to need adequate fuel and hydration for your running and trail adventures. Here you can find the best-rated energy gels, chews, and bars, plus electrolyte, hydration, and recovery drinks in enough flavors and forms to please any palette (just be sure to give any a trial run before that big race).
Want more food for longer outdoor adventures? Check out our full independent reviews and ratings of trail and backcountry food and drink, including meals, desserts, coffee, and more.
Recent Food/Drink Reviews
Larabar Cashew Cookie
A straightforward, no-nonsense trail snack that has become a personal favorite. Taste: With only two ingredients (cashews and dates), the taste is as one might expect (surprise, it tastes like cashews and dates!). I’ve never been a huge fan of raw dates, but these are much more enjoyable than raw dates, even though there is a distinct date flavor. As for cashews, I could eat them all day, everyday, so this bar was particularly intriguing for me. From what I’ve seen, most other trail bars/snacks… Full review
Patagonia Provisions Apricot + Almond Bar
A non-GMO, organic energy bar that tastes great and has a backpacker-acceptable caloric density of 100 calories per ounce. The small size lends it to stashing in small pockets (but not so much for satiety). These are expensive, just as most organic, non-GMO products are. Here are the ingredients as listed on the package: Organic Dried Apricot, Organic Dried Pear, Organic Dried Apple, Organic Almond, Organic Apple Juice Concentrate, Organic Baobab Fruit Powder, Organic Black Chia Seeds Here is the… Full review
Tailwind Rebuild drink powder is easy to mix, tastes good, is digestible and provided an ideal balance of carbohydrate, protein and electrolytes to replenish the body immediately after exercise. I’m a big fan of recovery snacks and Tailwind Nutrition has developed an easy solution for replenishing needed nutrients efficiently with the new Rebuild drink powder. The recovery period is often overlooked for long-distance backpackers but the concept has been around sports nutrition for a long time. Full review
Kate's Tiki Bar
These bars taste good and have a good, crunchy texture. One of my favorite discoveries this year was Kate’s brand. I have burned out on so many energy bars that I’m filled with dread every time I have to stock up. Kate’s saved the day with a bar that has actual crunch and delicious flavor. I quickly tire of the soft textures of so many backpacking foods but Kate’s bars use organic brown rice crisps (think Rice Krispies) to provide a satisfying crunch. All of her products use gluten-free,… Full review
Medi-Lyte is a low cost electrolyte supplement in tablet form that allows you to easily manage your electrolyte replacement with your activity level. This summer I took a different approach in how I went about replacing my electrolytes. Instead of using any one of the many powdered forms that are offered by many of the sport drink manufactures, I decided I would try using an electrolyte supplement from Medique called Medi-Lyte. I purchased Medi-Lyte off of Amazon and it cost $7.65 for a box of 50… Full review
Skratch Labs Anytime Energy Bar
These new bars from Skratch are a nice change from the overly sugary bars we usually encounter. Most endurance athletes are familiar with Skratch Labs. Their energy and electrolyte drink mixes are the stuff of legend. The founder of the company, Alan Lim, was a nutritionist for several professional cycling teams (BMC, Radio Shack, Garmin), and developed his "secret drink mix" after fielding complaints from cyclists about the electrolyte drinks that they were forced to drink. Along with Chef Biju… Full review
Larabar Apple Pie
Larabar makes an outstanding trail bar that comes in a variety of flavors that all taste great, and have a very high calorie per ounce. Sometimes it seems like I live under a rock, but the other day my daughter shared a trail bar with me that I had never really heard of before from a brand called Larabar. I thought the trail bar tasted outstanding as it had a consistency like a dense Fig Newton (another food I really enjoy), which I also really liked. Now that I have had a Larabar I notice them… Full review
Run Gum Energy Gum
A quick and easy way to get an energy boost. Lightweight and easy to consume. I don't usually consume caffeine other than a morning cup of green tea as I am pretty caffeine sensitive. So I was a little hesitant to test Run Gum Energy chews. Providing 50 mg of caffeine, 20 mg of Taurine, and vitamins B6 and B12, one Run Gum chew is fairly equal to a can of Red Bull. This made me a little wary of how my body might react but I figured I would give it a try during my three-days-a-week mountain bike… Full review
Huma Chia Energy Gel
Awesome nutritional, energy, and hydration supplements. I mainly mountain bike due to crushed nerves in my leg. However, I do receive an occasional injection to sedate the nerve. It only last a few days for me. That said, I have tried all the other energy products that were available. My bike shop owner knows I’m diabetic and how other gels, chews, waffles etc either tear up my stomachs (at the worst possible timing) or shoot my sugar out the roof. He said he found this new product at sea otter… Full review